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GFO Issue 244



Agnes Tandler

Article Type:

Article Number: 5

Extension should help marshal technical assistance ahead of integrated HIV/TB proposal

ABSTRACT The tiny Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti is anticipating obstacles in its preparation of an integrated HIV/TB proposal to access its allocation under the Global Fund's new funding model, due to limited technical capacity.

Djibouti is negotiating a no-cost extension for its HIV grant with the Global Fund.

Savings of some $1.1 million from grant DJB-613-G05-H will be used to continue the program until November 2014, when funds allocated under the new funding model should be ready for disbursement, according to principal recipient UNDP.

“We want to ensure that there is no interruption from May to December to avoid a gap in financing”, said Nicole F. Kouassi, the former deputy resident representative for UNDP in Djibouti. “The no-cost extension is to assure continuity.”

Djibouti’s allocation under the new funding model announced in March is some $20 million. A funding split has yet to be confirmed by the country coordination mechanism, but was allocated by the Grant Management team at the Fund Secretariat as $7 million to HIV, $6 million to TB and $7 million to malaria. As one of 38 Fund-eligible countries with a high co-morbidity of HIV/TB, Djibouti is thus required to submit a joint proposal for the two disease components. That proposal should be ready by October, according to UNDP.

The amount agreed for the current HIV grant, to respond to an estimated 1.4% HIV prevalence rate, under a transitional funding mechanism to ensure no gaps in service provision is $4.5 million.

A small country perched at the tip of the Horn of Africa, Djibouti has struggled to develop the technical capacity needed to forge ahead with the requirements to develop the robust high-impact proposals that the Global Fund is expecting, according to Angela De Tommasi, the project coordinator for Global Fund programming at UNDP.  “Djibouti is a small country, We only have a limited number of experts,” she said.

In requiring an inclusive country dialogue drawing stakeholders from all sectors including civil society, as well as robust data upon which to base their proposals for activities supported by the Global Fund, she expressed concerns about tight timelines — although the timeline for the application will ultimately be determined by the country itself.

UNDP is likely to draw on its own wealth of experience both as PR and as a major technical partner of the Global Fund to help Djibouti develop its concept note. Aidspan understands that the Global Fund will also mobilize technical partners, including France’s 5% Initiative, to support Djibouti in its preparation for its NFM application.

UNDP has been PR for HIV and TB in Djibouti since 2013, following an investigation into allegations of fraud by the Office of the Inspector General. Since then Global Fund support has been restricted to essential services, and fiduciary controls have been implemented to mitigate further financial risk.

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